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When I last left you in the wastes, you’d just gone into Cherno and/or Elektro, run around like a maniac, and come out with at least passable gear. This time I want to talk about the exploration aspect of DayZ, or what you’ll be spending too many hours doing. In particular, I want to sketch out a path to two specific locations and outline why I choose the routes I do. Let’s get started.
Stary days and nights
Move almost directly north from Chernogorsk, and there isn’t much to write home about. A couple small towns with naught save low value residentials, a single deer stand, and a few barns of various values. Keep going and you’ll find the third tier PvP location: Stary Sobor. It doesn’t boast much, if you go by the numbers. But the value of what you can find there makes it a prime place to wait for fresh meat. At this one location you’ll find: 15 military tents (low value), a bus spawn, car spawn and, most importantly, helicopter spawn.
I’m going to assume you’re still on the low-pop servers at this point. Therefore, your chances of meeting someone in Stary are slim by comparison to PvP heavy servers, but be wary nonetheless. Those little red dots are too inviting not to visit, and pound for pound a better shot at getting the good stuff than any other location on the map.
Getting to Stary is easy: just go north. But the path you take could save you or condemn you. Follow the road out of Cherno and you’ll run through Nadezhdino, not really an ideal spot for any sort of looting. The town is also in a pass, giving anyone within 1000 meters a clean, easy shot. Few people probably camp it such a worthless location, but it pays to be cautious. Stick to the mountains east of Nade, and you’ll have far more cover as you approach Stary. This also gives you a fairly straight run to the only deer stand on your way, and there can be some good loot in those.
Past the stand, there little but open fields and a few copses of trees. Kill or avoid the stand zombies and scout Stary from afar. Get as close as you can in the forested areas and use binoculars or a scoped weapon. You could even go into Novy Sobor and loop north of Stary, giving you a high-ground view of a dangerous city. Once you think it’s safe enough, make your way in, raid the tent camp, and book it out. There is almost always something worth taking, but stay too long and you will, I repeat, you will attract undo attention. If you’re on a warpath to the airfield, take a breather in Kabanino, but beware the fuel stations, lest you fall victim to a drive-by wookie attack.
Vybor: Door to the airfield
If you prefer finding your arsenal gradually rather than in a single in-and-out job, you’ll want to head to Vybor. Two towns west of Stary and within spitting distance of the NW airfield, it’s fairly safe in my experience. There isn’t much to it save a few valuable residentials and a supermarket, and it stands in the middle of a giant open field, giving a view in and out. Getting there will probably take double the time as getting to Stary, simply because there’s more to see on the way.
Nadezhdino should still be your first stop, but bear northwest this time. Your first stop should be the pair of deer stands just east of Pogorevka, then that city and Rogovo in quick succession. You likely won’t find many survivors there, even on semi-populated servers, and there are some mid-value buildings that might have something of value.
After Rogovo, you have a choice. Head north towards the two deer stands or further northwest to Pustoshka. Choose the first and you’ll skyline yourself in the fields, but still far enough from Stary and the airfield to be safe, but expect that you’ve been spotted regardless. From the deer stands, Vybor is a short jog, with the airfield waiting.
Choose to go to Pustoshka and you can restock on vital supplies like food and drink, maybe find a better backback and some weapons or ammo, and consider the opportunity of heading out west to the deer stands there. Between the two this is my preferred route almost solely because of the supermarket in Pustoshka. The stands to the west are a nice bit of gravy and a nice location for a tent camp as well.
No matter which way you choose, stick to the wilderness as ever, avoiding open fields and roads if at all possible. Orientation sometimes calls for sacrifices, but if you have a compass or even a GPS from the stands, navigation shouldn’t be an issue. Once in Vybor, the choice is the same as it is in Stary.
Do I dare to take to the airfield, or do I make my way back down to where I know I’m relatively safe?